Victim mentality is a personality trait in which the individual believes that they suffer misfortune through no fault of their own and often through the wrongdoing of others.
Meditation can help with victim mentality because it gives us the power to change our perspective and develop new thinking habits and new attitudes.
Victimism or victimhood often stems from events in childhood and is linked to a sense of injustice in which the person feels they have been wronged through no fault of their own.
Meditation gives us the power to take back our control from victim syndrome. And the meditation below will help you to do just that.
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Using Meditation for Victimism
I personally suffered from victimism when I was a teenager. My father drank… a lot. And I had no control. A day would be a good day or a bad day just based on his level of drunkenness. That made me feel powerless because I had no control over whether a day was good of bad. And so I developed the mentality that what I did didn’t matter at all and that I had no control over my reality.
Meditation helped me overcome my vicimism. It taught me to realize the power that I do have, and to be grateful for the good in my life instead of just focusing on the negative. And now I teach other people to do the same
There are numerous ways how meditation helps with victimism. So let’s discuss them.
Meditation helps victims change thought patterns
One of the symptoms of victim mentality is negative thoughts. I used to tell myself that I don’t matter. And that thought, repeated again and again, became a belief.
The problem is that it is difficult to slow your mind so you can hear your thoughts. And you need to hear your thoughts before you can change them.
Meditation slows your mind so you can be aware of your thoughts. And once you are aware of your thoughts you can change them.
Realise the good in your life
Every single person on Earth has both good and bad things happen to them. But victim mentality makes us focus on the bad. And this obviously leads to unhappiness.
There are many types of meditation that can help you to see the good in your life. For instance, Gratitude Meditation will make you aware of all the things you have to be grateful for. And this can truly change your perspective on life.
Helps victims forgive
One of the hardest things about victimism is forgiveness. Yes, it is hard to forgive someone who has wronged you. But until you forgive them you will always be tied to them and you will never move on.
Forgiveness often requires a change of perspective. It requires us to understand the human weaknesses that led another person to do us wrong. For instance, my father, whose drinking hurt me significantly. To move on I had to forgive time, and to forgive him I had to understand his weakness, his illness of alcoholism.
Forgiveness meditation techniques like Karuna and Tonglen can help with this (more on this later).
Helps you overcome powerlessness
Victim mentality makes us think that we don’t have any control over our reality. But when we mindfully observe the effect that our actions have on our lives, we start to feel empowered.
- Sit comfortably with good posture. Close your eyes.
- Focus on your breath moving about your body. Breathe for a minimum of 25 breaths, mindfully observing each breath.
- Bring to mind moments of your life that you are grateful for. Remember the good times in life. If it helps, you can recite the mantra, “I am grateful for [fill in the blank”. Continue to do this for 10 minutes and genuinely force yourself to remember good things that have happened to you.
- Bring to mind other people who have also suffered in life. Acknowledge their suffering. Now say (in your mind) “May this person be free from suffering”. And then imagine them saying the same thing back to you. This will help you to cultivate compassion.
- Continue to breathe mindfully for another 10 breaths and to feel more connected connected other people.
- Now bring to mind people who have wronged you. Do NOT do this with the main person you need to forgive. Start with forgiving people for smaller transgressions. Consider the struggles in their life and their human weaknesses. Realise that their mistakes are just human frailties, the kind of mistakes we all make. This will help you to cultivate forgiveness.
- Continue mindful breathing for 5 minutes. Now open your eyes.
- Decide one thing that you could do right now to make you feel empowered. Now go and do it.
More on victim mentality
- Feeling like life is a series of unfair challenges
- Feeling like you have no control over negative aspects of your life
- Feeling like your life is mostly negative
- A need for sympathy
- Self pity
- Distrust of others
- Possibility of PTSD stemming from a past occurrence
- Charles R Snyder states the need for forgiveness
- Support groups
- Assertiveness techniques
- Normative decision theory
- Cognitive therapy
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison